Germany, Austria criticise of US sanctions against Russia

Germany, Austria criticise of US sanctions against Russia

"Europe's energy supply is a matter of Europe, not the United States of America!", said the statement.

The pipeline project was conceived by Russian Federation and Germany as a way to avoid sending gas to Europe through an existing pipeline that runs through Ukraine, which has proved to be unreliable at times because of a long-running spat between Ukraine and Russian Federation over the cost of gas and other contract terms.

Germany and Austria strongly objected to a provision in Russian sanctions legislation approved by the Senate on June 15, saying it could hurt European businesses involved in a project to bring Russian natural gas supplies to Europe.

The two politicians then urged the US authorities to back away from these plans and said that they "very much support" the efforts of the US Department of State aimed at changing the bill concerning the sanctions. "We cannot accept.the threat of illegal extraterritorial sanctions against European companies that participate in the development of European energy supply!" Eastern and Central European countries oppose the project, fearing that their dependence on Russian energy would increase.

BERLIN (AP) - Germany and Austria voiced sharp criticism Thursday of the latest USA sanctions against Moscow, saying they could affect European businesses involved in piping in Russian natural gas.

If the legislation passes the House and survives any veto threats from President Donald Trump, it could be used against companies like Shell, Uniper, Wintershall, Engie, and OMV, which are teaming up with Gazprom, Russia's state-owned energy behemoth, to build the $10.6 billion pipe.

The joint statement accused the U.S. move of being related to its "economic interest in exporting gas" to Europe, something that has been a top priority for some USA energy companies. "The actual goal [of such sanctions] is to provide jobs for the U.S. gas and oil industry", the statement says, citing the United States bill on the new sanctions. "Who gives us energy and how we decide is according to the rules of openness and market competition".

The pipeline's project company Nord Stream 2 said the threats signaled "increasing politicization ... driven by commercial interests".

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